In Praise of Phil Mickelson

Posted by Greg on Apr 12, 2010 in Op-Ed |

For all the media hype that surrounded Tiger Woods this past week (and weekend), it was elating to see Phil Mickelson don the green jacket for the third time in 10 years. For all his flaws and critics, Mickelson remains a steadfast family man, whose undergone far greater personal catastrophe than anything Tiger Woods has faced. Cancer can’t be avoided. Infidelity and impaired judgement can. Off the course and on the course, Phil Mickelson is it has best when he puts it all on the table and doesn’t hold back. All those traits came to the surface this weekend, most notably on Sunday. In securing the green jacket, he put together as scintillating and as remarkable a final round as any we’ll see all year.

So while the media focuses its attention on the world’s most famous philanderer, let’s cast a glance towards something far more wholesome and far more celebratory. With his Masters win, Mickelson joined elite company, ranking alongside Nicklaus, Palmer, Woods, Demaret, Snead, Player and Faldo. Being that he’s not even 50, the chances of Mickelson vying for Nicklaus’ record of six does not seem out of the question. Once upon a time everyone used to say the same thing about Tiger. Instead, while everyone focused their attention on the fallen hero, another hero emerged.

Is a sea change in order? Perhaps it’s too soon to tell. Instead of casting hordes of attention on Tiger, let’s give Phil his fair share of the spotlight. After all, since he became pro, he’s done very little to prove he doesn’t deserve it. The same can’t be said for Tiger.

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